Olivares Roza, Jimena and Capilla Osorio, José and Clement Lorenzo, Marta and Sangrador García, Jesús and Iborra Grau, Enrique
Growth of AlN oriented films on insulating substrates..
In: "IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium 2011", 18/10/2011 - 21/10/2011, Orlando, EEUU. pp. 1716-1719.
This work describes the structural and piezoelectric assessment of aluminum nitride (AlN) thin films deposited by pulsed-DC reactive sputtering on insulating substrates. We investigate the effect of different insulating seed layers on AlN properties (crystallinity, residual stress and piezoelectric activity). The seed layers investigated, silicon nitride (Si3N4), silicon dioxide (SiO2), amorphous tantalum oxide (Ta2O5), and amorphous or nano-crystalline titanium oxide (TiO2) are deposited on glass plates to a thickness lower than 100 nm. Before AlN films deposition, their surface is pre-treated with a soft ionic cleaning, either with argon or nitrogen ions. Only AlN films grown of TiO2 seed layers exhibit a significant piezoelectric activity to be used in acoustic device applications. Pure c-axis oriented films, with FWHM of rocking curve of 6º, stress below 500 MPa, and electromechanical coupling factors measured in SAW devices of 1.25% are obtained. The best AlN films are achieved on amorphous TiO2 seed layers deposited at high target power and low sputtering pressure. On the other hand, AlN films deposited on Si3N4, SiO2 and TaOx exhibit a mixed orientation, high stress and very low piezoelectric activity, which invalidate their use in acoustic devices.